After 10 years with the Deseret News, Jennifer Lane got a promotion Friday - to publisher.
The secret of the 16-year-old Orem newspaper carrier's rapid rise to the top was her winning essay in a publisher-for-a-day contest held by Newspaper Agency Corp.NAC, which handles News circulation, held the competition in conjunction with International Newspaper Carrier Day on Saturday and International Newspaper Carrier Week next week.
"This is our way of honoring all carriers symbolically," said Steve Gunn, NAC home delivery manager.
Lane's involvement with the News began when her older brothers, Christopher and Stephen, had the 60-paper route. "They'd always make me help them." Before long she had taken over.
The hardest parts of the job over the years have been the weather and some picky customers, she said. The management change that pleased her most was NAC's decision to switch to direct office billing. "I hated collecting. That was the worst." She much prefers having customers mail in their payments, "instead of paying out our own money if we don't get it."
The best part of the job has been the money, Lane said. About five years ago she earned enough to pay for a plane ticket to Hawaii. Most of her earnings, though, go into the bank for college. She hopes to major in psychology and said she's already had to use some on the job.
"Especially with those dogs. You have to psychologically get them out of your way."
Lane is committed to her work as a paper carrier. She's even trying to talk her parents, Charles and Jan Lane, into letting her stay behind in Utah when the family moves to northern California for her dad's new job assignment.
She wants to stay at least until February, so she can compete in the NAC's Young Columbus competition for carriers. Last year she came in second, and this year she's determined to win the trip to Ireland.
In her stint as publisher of the Deseret News on Friday, Lane talked with publisher Wm. James Mortimer about the duties of a boss, attended an editorial meeting, toured the plant and had lunch with her counterpart from the Salt Lake Tribune and the two papers' respective publishers.
There's only one thing Lane didn't get done before she returned to Orem to get Friday's paper out - she forgot to approve the staff raises.